Michele Massa (Bilkent University, BIAA Honorary Fellow) has received a permit to start a new archaeological excavation at Türkmen-Karahöyük, a Bronze and Iron Age site in the Konya Plain.

The project, partly sponsored by the British Institute at Ankara, is co-led with James Osborne (University of Chicago), Fatma Şahin (Çukurova University) and Hüseyin Erpehlivan (Bilecik University). Among the team members are also several BIAA-affiliated researchers including Işılay Gürsu, Benjamin Irvine, Hakan Tarhan and Burcu Akşahin.

The site was a major centre of the Hittite Empire (1500-1200 BCE), and became famous in 2019 when, during preliminary survey, their team discovered a Luwian Hieroglyphic inscription commissioned by a Great King Hartapu that mentioned a victory over the “Land of Mushka”, a rival state in the vicinity of Eskişehir. This shows that Türkmen-Karahöyük was likely Hartapu’s capital during the Iron Age (around 750 BCE). The site was eventually destroyed by fire approximately at the time of the Roman conquest (ca 30 BCE).

The project envisages the creation of an interdisciplinary environment to conduct cutting-edge research and student training, and involves collaboration with specialists from Türkiye, Europe and the US.